2019 thus far: We're 10% of the way through the year, and it's already been an action-packed 2019. I spent a large chunk of autumn traveling around the UK, visiting castles and museums before Brexit. In between, I spent a lot of time writing code in train stations and airports. It's been too long since I've gotten to talk about all of this stuff that I'm excited for!
Rewriting gender originally came from diverse inspirations- I live in San Francisco and Pride month is ascendant, and I've been actively thinking about an esoteric new playable race to add for 5.0. A decent chunk of my friends have cool pronouns that don't fit in a strict gender binary- and so do chemwalkers, gelatinous cubes and sporefolk. To support and properly address everyone, gender needed to be expanded. There's still some work to be done, given how much of Alyria was created without having to accommodate "they" pronouns, but both Adventurers and NPCs have a variety of genders to choose from now. Changing sex is free within the CLASS RESPEC command, and can be done without limit at 240+.
January noticed a few instances of creeping game lag, instances which got fixed with reboots. This is relatively unusual, and manifested oddly and in ways we couldn't replicate without leaving a server alone for 2 weeks- it took a bit of time to figure out what was going on and why. Profiling revealed that as the game stayed up, the function that determines "is this room dark?" was consuming up to half of our total CPU resources. After some digging and tests, it turned out that every second, every NPC in the game was trying to determine if it was in a dark room- the determination for which involves checking every NPC, adventurer, affect, item, relic, item set, and spell for torches and sanctuary. Needless to say, all of those variables, multiplied by each other, takes a long time to check, and was slowly strangling the game. Figuring out what was hard, but fixing it was easy, and I'm happy to report the game is fixed and stable and below 5% CPU as of a week ago.
We announced clan inheritance over a year ago, to give everyone enough time to hear about it and not leave any surprises. Active members in clans without an active membership now have the ability to inherit their clans, as appropriate. The default heir to a clan is the most-active, most-senior, highest-ranking member who has logged on within the past year. If that's you, you can CLAN INHERIT and assume a leadership role with all of the permissions. Between reduced clan tax burdens, autopaid taxes and inheritance, there is no reason for a clan where someone keeps the torch lit to die from inactivity.
Old Servers & Clan Resurrection
When Omnis acquired the game in 2014, the sale included the hardware the game was run on before we switched to AWS in 2010. A few months ago, we finally got all of the data off of them. We weren't sure what was on them, or what the scope of hardware failure was, since they'd last been turned on around 2012, and the oldest dated to the early 2000s. There was a lot of potential variance: the game was originally hosted on a desktop under Vassago's desk in college, and every time we upgraded the hardware, the old hardware got rotated by order of importance. Game servers became dev servers became webservers became DB servers. Due to the long passage of time, a historical lack of hard drive space, and uncertainty about how space had been freed up as server duties rotated, it was possible that the servers contained 3.2, old websites, old design docs, past snapshots of the game, all of the above, or none of the above. the only way to find out was to use a data recovery service. So we did so. Interesting things we found: snapshots of the game from late 2001, 2007 and 2012. The old website, with player uploads.
Things we didn't find: anything earlier than late 2001 (read: 3.2), design docs, unknown mysteries.
What to do with this information has been a source of curious discussion for a while, and it turns out one of the answers is: provide an opportunity to resurrect old clans.
At the end of this blog post is a list of since-deleted clans and their respective owners, from two different snapshots. If 50%+ of a given clan's leaders from either snapshot log on to request it, we will happily reinstate their clan from the data we have. There's even a dedicated night that might be best for rustling up old faces...
Reunion night is the 19th of every month, from 6-12 System time. This is the first month where AP will automatically be doubled, and category 5+ bosses will drop special reunion loot. We look forward to seeing you there!
Clans & Leaders as of ~Christmas, 2000 & Summer, 2010, Respectively
1: [Gomar, Salion, Gussy]
4: [Ktulu] [Clan merged]
6: [Keegan, Wydrune, Caeld, Keldmar, Deshane, Nodiatias]
8: [Dessarin, Nyghtmare, Quark, Prothis]
9: [Venerin, Ashlynn, Kirali, Waves, Petegod]
10: [Alastair, Messiah]
11: [Darrod, Diablo, Vlamcer, Yptalos]
12: [Loom, Tritochest, Smitty, Aion, Caillean, Carodin]
14: [Genesis, Complex]
15: [Rancor, Jesterman, Eden]
16: [Jebus, Khan]
17: [Rommel, Phyria, Kei]
18: [Klaus, Soth, Corinim]
19: [Balan, Bokonon, Quiet, Astrogirl, Blackhat, Bobert]
21: [Lymin, Gayla]
23: [Nick, Dismay, Ashe]
25: [Rayne, Barbadus, Panzer, Punkboy]
27: [Tori, Sati, Akasha, Stormsparrow]
31: [Blister, Borneo]
32: [Katelyn, Haruman, Artanis]
33: [Baratina, Kelee]
34: [Mitspieler, Teriklar]
35: [Zacorion, Wendigo, Enji, Alesril, Swansong]
36: [Pekoe, Silequi]
43: [Pechini, Dorch]
45: [Tielie, Legacy, Garrison, Chrono]
48: [Aerandal, Brassmonkey, Darkk]
50: [Void, Cheng, Eva]
53: [Davros, Sorid, Marishi]
57: [Ltphoenix, Erikshun, Chastity, Bres]
58: [Bailey, Silere]
67: [Kao, Desi]
75: [Kaczia, Nerys]
79: [Lasha, Liana]
80: [Rastus, Vision]
93: [Kobi, Pepper, Superduper]
132: [Basstian, Bresha, Taliesyn, Revocabel]
140: [Storrm, Ellipsis]
142: [Ruen, Xyrinne]
147: [Magravane, Mazebane]
148: [Kurik, Kate]
150: [Kignar, Deedee]
152: [Ixlone, Izayoi] [Clan merged]
156: [Helena, Kendo]
143: [Ruthgul, Rajani]